Thursday, June 26, 2008

News---Will The Old Cyclorama Building Have Its Day In Court?

Cyclorama Lawsuit May Get A Federal Hearing, Scott Andrew Pitzer, Gettysburg Times, June 24, 2008.

The Virginia-based group that’s hoping to save the old Gettysburg Cyclorama building from demolition has filed a request to settle the ongoing lawsuit in federal court. Gettysburg National Military Park intends to raze the structure, which sits within Ziegler’s Grove near the old Visitor Center building, but the Recent Past Preservation Network believes the circular structure is architecturally significant.

“There is good cause for an oral hearing in that the issues raised in Plaintiffs’ motion are complex, the Administrative Record for this case is lengthy, and there continue to be significant legal disagreements between the parties,” wrote attorney Nicholas C. Yost, who represents the Recent Past Preservation Network, in court documents filed June 20.

Dion Neutra, the son of the late Richard Neutra who designed the old Cyclorama building, is also involved in the lawsuit. Neutra and the Recent Past Preservation Network contend that the park’s decision to destroy the complex violates national preservation laws. “We find it very unlikely that the project will be stopped,” GNMP Supt. Dr. John A. Latschar said during a recent Advisory Committee session. He also indicated during the meeting that the lawsuit would probably result in a court hearing.

The Recent Past Preservation Network is arguing that the National Park Service never fully considered alternative options when it chose to demolish the old complex. Planning for the new museum and visitor center began nearly 14 years ago. The park, wanting to house its entire collection of one million Civil War artifacts under one roof, opted to relocate to a much larger facility along the Baltimore Pike and rehab the old site back to its 1863 appearance. The group also contends that the Park Service, in its General Management Plan of 1999 and associated Environmental Impact Statement, “studiously avoid” restoration and rehabilitation alternatives.

The original lawsuit was docketed in December 2006 — since then, thousands of documents have been filed in federal court relating to the case, some more than hundreds of pages long. Several months ago, the Recent Past Preservation Network filed a motion for summary judgement, seeking a resolution without a full trial. The motion was met with a response by the National Park Service. To date, presiding Judge Thomas F. Hogan has yet to rule on the motions.

The park claims that the building is set upon ground where nearly 900 Union and Confederate soldiers died, were captured or wounded during Pickett’s Charge on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. A new visitor center and museum opened in April along the 1100 block of the Baltimore Pike south of Gettysburg, and the old facility in Ziegler’s Grove — situated between Taneytown Road and Steinwehr Avenue — closed permanently to visitors and is awaiting demolition. The new $103 million complex is 139,000 square-feet, more than double the size of the old facility.

The 377 foot-long by 42 foot-high Cyclorama painting was moved to a gallery in the new building, and the artwork is now hung in its original hyperbolic shape. Conservators are restoring the 200-year-old painting to its original appearance, and bringing back lost features. Work is expected to conclude in the upcoming weeks, and a grand opening is scheduled for late September.

Contact Scot Pitzer at 334-1131, ext. 247 or

Text Source:
Picture: Figures 31, 32, 33. Elevations and plans for the Gettysburg Visitor Center and Cyclorama Building, June 1959. From Chapter 3, Mission 66. Courtesy National Park Service Technical Information Center, Denver Service Center.

CWL: The history of the Neutra plans for the Cyclorama Building is in the online book Mission 66, Chapter 3 at this wwwsite.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Off Topic---Writing Award: Pritzker Military Library Honors Allan R. Millett

Historian Allan R. Millett To Receive 2008 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement: $100,000 Award to be Presented at October 4, 2008 Gala in Chicago

Allan R. Millett has been selected to receive the 2008 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. The $100,000 honorarium, citation and medallion, sponsored by the Chicago-based Tawani Foundation, will be presented at the Library's annual Liberty Gala on October 4, 2008at Chicago's Drake Hotel. The announcement was made today via Internet webcast by the Library's President and Founder, COL (IL) James N. Pritzker IL ARNG (Ret.), at

The Pritzker Military Library Literature Award recognizes a living author for a body of work that has profoundly enriched the public understanding of American military history. The recipient's contributions may be academic, non-fiction, fiction, or a combination of any of the three, and his or her work should embody the values of the Pritzker Military Library. A national panel of historians, writers and individuals related to the study of American history and heritage - including the first recipient of the award James M. McPherson - reviewed nominations and definitive works submitted by publishers, agents, book sellers and other professional literary organizations. The finalist recommendation was unanimously endorsed by the executive council of the Foundation established to oversee the award process.

James N. Pritzker states, "The selection committee has honored an individual whose life's work in the area of understanding and writing about military history is at the highest scholarly level. Allan Millett's written work, teaching and other pursuits have educated and informed us all in a most profound way. In creating this premiere annual award to recognize one author's lifetime commitment to scholarly writing on military topics we ultimately hope to contribute to a better understanding of the horrible complexities of war, past, present and future."

The Director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies and Ambrose Professor of History, University of New Orleans and the Maj. Gen. Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Military History, The Ohio State University, Allan R. Millett is a specialist in the history of America's military policy, twentieth century wars, and military institutions. He is author of many books including Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps; The Politics of Intervention: The Military Occupation of Cuba, 1906-1909; The General: Robert L. Bullard and Officership in the United States Army; and In Many a Strife: General Gerald C. Thomas and the U.S. Marine Corps. He is the co-author of For the Common Defense and A War to Be Won: Fighting the Second World War. In the past decade, Millett also has become a specialist of international stature on the history of the Korean War.

He began his work on the war as a Fulbright Distinguished Professor, Korean National Defense University, in 1991, and a Fellow of the Korea Foundation, 1996. In this area of scholarship, Millett has written Their War for Korea (2000) and A House Burning: The War for Korea (2005). Four of his books are on the required reading list for officers of the U.S. Armed Services and he has contributed original essays to fifteen books on the Korean War, World War II, American historiography, foreign and defense policy and military history. Dr. Millett also has written more than thirty articles for such publications as International Security, The Americas, Armed Forces and Society, Strategic Review, Journal of Strategic Studies, and Military History Quarterly.

Dr. Millett is a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. His military experience included twelve years of reserve service in infantry units, including command of an infantry battalion, for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1989.

States Millett, “The Tawani Foundation and the Pritzker Military Library honor me with the second annual Pritzker Award for lifetime achievement in military history scholarship. The award is especially satisfying since it is decided by a group of distinguished historians. I share this honor with my two co-authors, Peter Maslowski and Williamson Murray, and with our loyal legion of graduate students at The Ohio State University. I am indebted to the Mershon Center at Ohio State and to General and Mrs. Raymond E. Mason, Jr., who have supported my research."

Millett's nomination was submitted by two of his publishers, the University Press of Kansas and Harvard University Press. Michael Briggs, Editor In Chief of the University Press of Kansas, states, “Long before I began working with Allan Millett, I knew of him by reputation—as one of America's premier military historians. In the ensuing years, his stature and contributions—including volume one of his Korean War trilogy published by Kansas—have continued to grow, further enlarging the boundaries for a field that combines rigorous scholarship and popular appeal. He is without question a consummate scholar and writer, utterly professional and reliable, traits that have illuminated every aspect of our publishing relationship. He brings to the table both a well-earned confidence and a willingness to listen to editorial advice, all in the service of an unrelenting commitment to excellence and high standards. I consider it an honor and a privilege to call him my colleague and friend."

Joyce Seltzer, Senior Executive Editor in History and Contemporary Affairs at the Harvard University Press, states, “I am delighted that our author, Allan R. Millett, has won the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. He has contributed so substantially to the revitalization and reconceptualization of military history over the last four decades. As the co-author, with Williamson Murray, of A War To Be Won: Fighting the Second World War, he continued his quest to broaden and deepen the field of military history so as to capture the fullest meanings and dimensions of war. The book is a tour de force, bringing to life the innumerable people, places, and events occurring in both the European and Pacific theaters and providing a brilliant overall narrative that never loses sight of the critical significance and implications of the war."

2008 AWARD COMMITTEE: Maj. Gen. John L. Borling, USAF (Ret.) , Steve Coll, Carlo D'Este , Gary Johnson, James McPherson, Donald L. Miller, Joseph Persico, Thomas Ricks, Carol Reardon, Mark Stoler

To learn more about the library visit

Text and Pictures Source:

Off Topic---Preservation: $1.75 Billion For 187,000 Acres of the Everglades

187,000 Acres May Be Restored: U.S. Sugar Assets Go To Florida in $1.75B Deal, Ryan Hiraki, USA TODAY June 25, 2008.

A 300-square-mile tract of the Everglades would be returned to its natural state under a plan announced Tuesday as part of an attempt to undo decades of damage by pollution and encroaching development. A $1.75 billion tentative agreement between the state of Florida and the nation's largest sugar cane producer was described by both sides as one of the biggest conservation initiatives ever. As part of the proposal, U.S. Sugar would operate for six more years, then go out of business and allow its 187,000 acres, refinery and other assets to be taken over by the state. Florida wants the property to return to its natural state as part of a plan to clean up the famed "River of Grass."

"This is as monumental as the creation of our nation's first national park — Yellowstone," Gov. Charlie Crist said in announcing the deal at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, 20 miles from West Palm Beach. The giant sugar company is under intense economic pressure from low-price sugar imports. It employs 1,700 people; all will lose their jobs if the deal closes. The state is offering them retraining.

"You wouldn't sell out if you couldn't do something fair for the employees and stockholders," U.S. Sugar CEO Robert Buker said. "We built a company that right now is the pillar of the agriculture community in Florida," he said. "Because of that, I stand here today with mixed feelings. … On the other hand, I'm excited about what we're doing here today." Details need to be worked out. Officials hope the state and privately held U.S. Sugar's board and shareholders will approve a deal by September. Frank Jackalone, a regional representative of the Sierra Club, applauded the move: "If they can restore the flows, it can help correct what's happened in the last 60 years."

The state intends to protect the land — the size of almost 13 Manhattans — from development, which has been encroaching on the Everglades for decades. Returning the land to its natural state would provide more area to cleanse southbound water from Lake Okeechobee, restoring the natural filtering of water that the Everglades has provided. Fertilizers, car oil and other pollutants have damaged the ecosystem.

Crist signed a deal with U.S. Sugar's Buker and South Florida Water Management District Governing Board member Shannon Estenoz. The governing board, which controls water management projects in 16 counties from Orlando to the Florida Keys, would use tax dollars to pay off bonds that would finance the purchase to buy the land and assets. "Florida is on the leading edge of preservation, and it's committed to restoring the Everglades," Crist said. U.S. Sugar was founded in 1931 by Charles Stewart Mott, a millionaire philanthropist who acquired bankrupt Southern Sugar. The deal would not end sugar production in the Everglades. About 300,000 acres used by other growers would remain in production.

Text Source:
Photographs: Top (burning sugar cane fields)
Bottom (burnt sugar cane fields)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New This Month---If Eric Says Its So, Its Probably So.

Crossroads of the Conflict: Defining Hours for the Blue and Gray: A Guide to the Monuments of Gettysburg, Donald W. Mclaughlin, 376 pages, Outskirts Press, paperback, $34.95.

"Don's book is an invaluable resource in locating the numerous monuments that exist on the Gettysburg Battlefield. It's the easiest guide to use, as it has a great index and the numerous maps he drew are excellent. Even more impressive to me, is the fact that the book contains an accurate inscription of every monument on the field!" - Eric A. Campbell Park Ranger Gettysburg National Military Park

Crossroads of the Conflict: The Defining Hours for the Blue and Gray, offers the reader important information about the Battlefield that is not contained in a single volume prior to the release of this work. This book provides the factual recordings of the inscriptions on the monuments of the Battlefield at Gettysburg. These are the monuments that stand as a symbol to American’s struggle to survive as a nation. Through this book the words upon the monuments come to life as a lasting memorial to those who died during this conflict. Crossroads of the Conflict, is unique. It is a chronological study of the monuments in the order in which the events took place as the battle progressed. This book can be used to provide the reader with a hands-on reference while touring the Battlefield by bus, car or on foot. It also serves to offer the reader an historical account of the significance of each monument, brigade marker and flank marker (left and right) on the battle grounds. In addition, the author has included numerous hand-drawn maps throughout the book to assist the reader in understanding how, the Battle itself, unfolded.

The story of the Gettysburg Battlefield is depicted on over 1,300 monuments/markers and 400 cannons that have been placed on the Battlefield throughout the past 140 years. The Gettysburg National Military Park currently encompasses 6,000 acres and is the site of one of the most visited battlefields in the United States. It is located in south central Pennsylvania, 50 miles northwest of Baltimore, Maryland. The Battle of Gettysburg was the largest and northernmost battle fought during the Civil War.

Donald William McLaughlin was born in the Bronx, New York in 1917. He spent his childhood on Long Island and eventually moved to upstate New York to work for the General Electric Corporation in the 1940’s. During WWII he enlisted, serving as a civil engineer in the United States Military along with his 3 brothers, Robert, James and William McLaughlin. He married Shirley Glaesser of Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1948 and had seven children. He was a crucial player in changing the railroads from steam to diesel in the 1940’s and 50’s.He retired from General Electric in 1981 and moved to Gettysburg, Pa. in 1983 to become a Licensed Battlefield Tour Guide which he continued until 1997. McLaughlin was an avid photographer and developed his own photos. He was also an Amateur Cartographer. He published a number of articles from 1950-1980’s in history and train magazines. His maps and photographs are in print in Gettysburg: Stories of Men and Monuments: As Told By Battlefield Guides by Frederick W Hawthorne. Additional maps are in Crossroads of a Conflict. He was a member of many Civil War Roundtables in the Gettysburg Area for more than a decade. Beginning in 1981 he mapped out the battlefield on foot, spending over 10 years locating every single monument that he could discover and chart. Through this work he developed the most extensive record of battlefield monuments available to the public.

Text Source: Outskirts Press
Eric Campbell Qoute Source:

CWL: offers it for list price and free shipping; the publisher is offering it at 20% off plus shipping. Also, the publisher offers it for $20.00 when ordered as a download. The Licensed Battlefield Guide test is this December; I'll probably pick up a copy in Gettysburg in July while I'm on the battlefield tours and wearing blue wool at the reenactment.

The book's wwwsite at Outskirts Press is

Monday, June 23, 2008

New This Month---What the Mexican War Taught Civil War Generals

The Training Ground: Grant, Lee, Sherman, and Davis in the Mexican War, 1846-1848, Martin Dugard, 464 pp., Little Brown Pulisher, $29.99.

Dugard (The Last Voyage of Columbus) offers a fast-paced, colloquially written account of the Mexican War of 1848, constructed around the experiences of the U.S. Army's corps of junior officers. Shaped by the common experience of West Point and tempered by battle, these comrades in arms (including Lee, Grant, Davis and Sherman) matured into the leading generals and statesmen on both sides of the Civil War. Dugard introduces others as well, from Union artilleryman Henry Hunt to Confederate icon Stonewall Jackson, who also learned their craft fighting the Mexicans. At the war's end, commanding general Winfield Scott saluted West Point's graduates as the key to America's victory over Mexico. The image of a band of brothers transformed into enemies by conscience and politics is a familiar trope of the Civil War, but Dugard's spirited narrative animates a group of men whose force of character, professional skill and ability to think outside conventional limits revitalized the sclerotic army. Readers will conclude this book with reinforced awareness of why the Civil War was so long and so bitterly fought: because, as Dugard shows, the contending armies were shaped and led by a remarkably capable—and experienced—body of officers.

Source of Text: Publishers Weekly, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc, .

New This Month---Grant's Lieutenants: From Chattanooga to Appomattox

Grant's Lieutenants: From Chattanooga to Appomattox , Steven E. Woodworth, Editor, 256 pages, University Press of Kansas, notes, index, $34.95.
A companion to Grant’s Lieutenants: From Cairo to Vicksburg, this new volume assesses Union generalship during the final two years of the Civil War. Steven Woodworth, one of the war’s premier historians, is joined by a team of distinguished scholars—Mark Grimsley, John Marszalek, and Earl Hess, among others—who critique Ulysses S. Grant’s commanders in terms of both their working relationship with their general-in-chief and their actual performances.

The book covers well-known Union field generals like William T. Sherman, George Thomas, George Meade, and Philip Sheridan, as well as the less-prominent Franz Sigel, Horatio Wright, Edward Ord, and Benjamin Butler. In addition, it includes an iconoclastic look at Grant’s former superior and wartime chief of staff Henry W. Halleck, focusing on his wise counsel concerning Washington politics, the qualities of various subordinates, and the strategic environment. Each of these probing essays emphasizes the character and accomplishments of a particular general and shows how his relationship with Grant either helped or hindered the Union cause.

The contributors highlight the ways Grant’s lieutenants contributed to or challenged their commander’s own success and development as a general. In addition to revisiting Grant’s key collaboration with Sherman, the essays illuminate the hostile relationship between Grant and Thomas, commander of the Army of the Cumberland; Grant’s almost daily contact with “Old Snapping Turtle” Meade, whose expertise relieved Grant of the close tactical direction of the Army of the Potomac; and the development of a highly successful command partnership between Grant and Sheridan, his new commander of the Army of the Shenandoah. Readers will also learn how Grant handled the relative incompetence of his less sterling leaders—perhaps failing to give Butler adequate direction and overlooking Ord’s suspect political views in light of their long relationship.

Like its companion volume, Grant’s Lieutenants: From Chattanooga to Appomattox is an essential touchstone for Civil War scholars and aficionados. It offers new and profound insights into the command relationships that fundamentally shaped both the conduct of the war and its final outcome.

“These stimulating and insightful essays remind us of the collaborative nature of military command and help us appreciate how Grant persevered and ultimately prevailed in directing the Union armies to victory.”—Brooks D. Simpson, author of Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822–1865

“A companion to Woodworth’s earlier collection of essays on top Union commanders that matches the high quality of the original. . . . Offers incisive analysis of the men Grant entrusted with execution of his strategic plans. Scholars and general readers will find much to ponder in this fine book.”—Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Confederate War

“A fascinating and thought-provoking book.”—Stephen D. Engle, author of Struggle for the Heartland: The Campaigns from Fort Henry to Corinth

STEVEN E. WOODWORTH is professor of history at Texas Christian University. He is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861–1865

John Marszelak on William T. Sherman
Steven Woodworth on George Thomas
Ethan Rafuse on George Gordon Meade
Earl Hess on Franz Sigel
Mark Grimsley on Benjamin Butler
Benjamin F. Cooling on David Hunter, Lew Wallace and Horatio Wright
Steven Nash on Philip Sheridan
William B. Feis on E. O. C. Ord
Mark Grimsely on Henry W. Halleck.

Text and Image: University of Kansas Press
Table of Contents:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

News---Gettysburg's Steinwehr Avenue Business Alliance Sets Sights on $30 Million Renovations

'Gettysburg's Boardwalk': Planning Remake Of Steinwehr, Erin James, Evening Sun Reporter, June 20, 2008.

Steinwehr Avenue is in need of a new look, new infrastructure and a new generation of tourists, they say. Project leaders will use the $215,000 primarily for the study and creation of a comprehensive plan. But when the planning phase is over and implementation begins, revitalization could cost as much as $30 million, said Bill Kough, chairman of Main Street Gettysburg, which is coordinating parts of the project. "It could be well above that even," he said.

When planners decide what they want to do, the potentially multimillion-dollar project would be funded mostly through grants. On Thursday, officials announced that they had secured enough funds to pay the Mechanicsburg-based Delta Development Group as a consultant to construct a comprehensive plan during the next eight to 10 months.

But the effort to improve one of Gettysburg's most prolific commercial hubs dates back to more than a year ago. In May, the Steinwehr Avenue Business Alliance formed with a mission to plan for the future of the street. A revitalization project became a top priority, and officials said in September that they were collecting money and applying for grants with the hope of securing about $200,000.

The comprehensive plan will dictate what changes are made, but officials have already identified some areas of need. For example, the street's sidewalks vary between concrete and brick. The walkway is broken up in some places.

Paul Witt, who owns the America's Best Value Inn, said he'd like to see brick sidewalks all along Steinwehr Avenue. The same goes for consistent signage along the street and the elimination of utility poles, Witt said. "We're trying to get more of a constant look, an upgraded look," he said. "This is kind of like Gettysburg's boardwalk in a way."

The revitalization project could extend as far as facade improvements to buildings along Steinwehr Avenue. The $215,000 in funds came from a variety of government and community sources. Many of the businesses on Steinwehr Avenue also contributed to that total. In October, the Gettysburg Borough Council endorsed the plan to seek grant money for the revitalization project. On Thursday, Borough Council President Dick Peterson said the project is long overdue.

"It's about time that we do something for this street because I'm afraid it's going to wither," he said. Some have worried that Steinwehr Avenue will experience decreased business from tourists now that the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center - once located just down the street - has relocated off Baltimore Pike.

Whether they share those concerns or not, project officials said Thursday that the ultimate goal is to attract more visitors to the street and its businesses. "We're trying to get more people here," Witt said. Main Street Gettysburg spokeswoman Deb Adamik said public support and input for the project will be crucial. "This process is going to include the community," she said.

Contact: Erin James at
Text Source:
Photo: Masonic Monument on Steinwehr Avenue by NPS.

CWL: Steinwehr Avenue commerical district will not be going down the tubes because the Visitors Center moved a mile away. Family food, gas, and Pickett's Charge will still be the main draw. CWL hopes the Steinwehr retailers' alliance will skip the brick sidewalks and bury the powerlines on both side of the street and the Taneytown Pike from Steinwehr to the visitors center.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

News---Jeff Davis And Children May Join Abe and Tad at Richmond Virginia Park

Statue Of Jefferson Davis Is Proposed--Confederate Group Seeks Spot Near Lincoln Statue At Tredegar In Richmond, Will Jones, Richmond Times Dispatch, June 10, 2002.

A life-size statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis could stand with the one of Abraham Lincoln at Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is offering to donate a bronze statue of Davis for placement at the National Historic Landmark site to mark this year as the bicentennial of his birth. The $100,000-plus statue by Lexington sculptor Gary Casteel would help educate the public about the Confederate president and how his family took in a mixed-race orphan and serve as a counter to the Lincoln statue that was dedicated in 2003, said Brag Bowling, a Richmond resident and a board member with the national Southern-heritage group. "There were two sides of the war," he said.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans fought the Lincoln statue, which depicts him with his son Tad on his visit to the burned-out Confederate capital in 1865. Bowling said the group isn't trying to cause an uproar but sees a need for historic balance at Tredegar. "The acceptance of that statue would soothe some feelings of Southerners from a few years ago," he said.

Representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are expected to meet next Tuesday with officials from the American Civil War Center, which controls the Tredegar site through an agreement with its owner, NewMarket Corp. Museum President Christy S. Coleman said yesterday that it would be inappropriate to comment before the meeting. "With anything, it's all about content and intent," she said.

The statue of Davis depicts him standing with his son Joe and with Jim Limber, who was a mixed-race child taken in by the Davis family, according to John M. Coski, historian and library director for The Museum of the Confederacy. David Ruth, superintendent of the Richmond National Battlefield Park, said he expects the statue of Davis to be considered just as the Lincoln statue was when it was offered by the U.S. Historical Society.

Its placement would have to be approved by NewMarket, plus the board of directors for the American Civil War Center. The National Park Service could serve as a consultant in the process. The now-defunct Richmond Historic Riverfront Foundation controlled the Tredegar property when the Lincoln statue was approved. Ruth said whether the statue would be accepted at Tredegar could depend on such factors as its design; whether it's determined that another monument to Davis is needed in Richmond; and whether Tredegar would be the appropriate place. A monument to Davis was erected in 1907 at Monument and Davis avenues. "I would hope for more discussion than it simply being a counterpoint to Lincoln," he said.

Ruth said the story of Jim Limber's association with the Davis family could be worth telling, although some details of the relationship aren't clear. Bowling said the Sons of Confederate Veterans commissioned the statue with Casteel. The piece is expected to be finished this fall, and it could be placed to mark the 200th anniversary of Davis' birth or in the walkup to 2011 and the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is proposing the statue on a granite base with the title "Looking Forward -- Looking Back." A proposed inscription reads, "President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson F. Davis, his son Joseph Evan Davis, and Jim Limber who was a black youth that the Davises rescued from maltreatment and raised as their own. Joseph, called 'Joe,' died during the War Between the States as the result of an accidental fall from a window of the Confederate Executive Mansion known today as the White House of the Confederacy. Jim Limber was captured with the Davis family after the collapse of the Confederacy and was cruelly separated from the Davises by Union soldiers. Mr. Davis tried the rest of his life to find out the fate of the boy, but he was never to be heard of again."

Text Source:
Will Jones at (804) 649-6911 or

Photo:The Sons of Confederate Veterans commissioned the statue with sculptor Gary Casteel of Lexington at a cost of more than $100,000. It is expected to be finished this fall. Photo By: Sons of Confederate Veterans

CWL--Andrew Jackson adopted a Native American infant who survived the destruction of his Creek tribe. Jackson drew the Red Sticks into a trap at the Battle of Talladega in the fall 1813. It is estimated that over 400 Red Sticks died in the fight. Found among the dead was a male baby which was taken to Andrew Jackson. Jackson decided to adopt him. Though Jim Limber wasn't adopted by Jeff Davis, there is a tradition of children of the vanquished being adopted. The 'cruelly separated' phrase in the inscription appears conjectural and unsupported by evidence.

Monday, June 16, 2008

CWL---1858: The Year The Civil War Became Inevitable?

1858: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and The War They Failed to See, Bruce Chadwick , Sourcebooks Inc., 355 pp., notes, bibliography, index, 2008, $24.95

1858 offers clear and concise descriptions of key political and social events that shoved the states into rebellion and resistance. Adventurous and even compelling at times, 1858 moves the reader through twelve months of political and social turmoil. Chadwick explores not the mundane but the exceptional.

Not familiar to most Civil War readers is Jefferson Davis' 1858 visit to Maine in order to recuperate from herpes and build a coalition of Northern Democrats in a bid to establish a presidential candidacy in 1860. The Southern press pilloried him to the point that when he returned he retracted his statements. Ironically, these retractions put him into a position where he would be offered a presidency in 1861, that of the Confederate States of America.

In one six page chapter, Chadwick offers a cogent and balanced description of the Dred Scott Decision, one of the most important U.S. Supreme Court event in U.S. history. His ability to put into place the origins, personalities, issues, and outcomes of this event is exceptional. As a Advance Placement U.S. History test reader, CWL reflected that this chapter would be a fine contribution to student resources.

Though CWL is quite familiar with the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Oberlin Ohio Rescue and John Brown's escape with slaves from Missouri to Canada, Chadwick offers the essentials in a manner that captures the excitement and underscores their place in bringing the states to the brink of rebellion in 1860. After reading 1858, Civil War buffs may have a new appreciation for the events leading to the Secession Winter of 1860-1861. Some readers may need to keep in mind that all soldiers in the ranks had lived through and had argued over the events of 1858.

Though a Pennsylvanian, CWL has not be able to work up any enthusiasm for James Buchanan, 15th president of the United States. Chadwick's 1858 covers the Buchanan presidency in nine chapters that fall between chapters on Davis, Lee, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Oberlin Rescue, Seward's Irrepressible Conflict speech, and John Brown's rescue of slaves from Missouri. Read consecutively the Buchanan White House chapters make the case for this Northern Democrat holding Southern Democrats' interest higher than his own section and possibly allowing the conflict to become truly irrepressible.

Some quibbles: The subtitle is unclear; nine of 17 chapters deal with the Buchanan White House, two deal with Lincoln and Douglas, and single chapters deal with Lee, Davis, Seward, Sherman, The Dred Scott Decision, John Brown's Raid on Missouri and the Slaveholder's raid on Nicaragua. Mysteriously, U.S. Grant is mentioned only on four pages in the book but is in the subtitle. Buchanan has nine chapters but has no mention in the title at all.

CWL suggests that the subtitle be changed for the paperback edition: 1858--The Year the Civil War Became Inevitable for Davis, Lee, Douglas, Lincoln, Seward, Sherman and John Brown. Or 1858--Blood Before The Civil War's Dawn: The Men Who Pulled the Trigger on the War.

Chadwick assumes the reader has no detailed understanding of the period; 1858 is written for the general audience. For the paperback edition, a chronology for the year should be added as well as a brief chronology of the 1846-1860 era. A list of characters would also be helpful for the general audience. Also, the index needs some attention. The entry--Forney, John--lists 6 pages with three subtopics. John Forney has a whole chapter, Number Nine, pages 135-140 but these pages are not listed under the entry--Forney, John--in the index. Some proofreading needs to be done. Notes 159, 160 and 161 are the same font size as the text font; these note number should be the superscript font size, just like the other 744 notes.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

News---GNMP's Latschar Travels And 'Gives a Witness'

Gettysburg’s Super To Attend National Meeting Of Park Service Officials, Scot Andrew Pitzer, Gettysburg Times, June 11, 2008.

Gettysburg National Military Park confirmed Tuesday that battlefield Supt. Dr. John A. Latschar plans to attend a National Park Service conference next month in the Utah mountains. Latschar will be with about 400 other park superintendents from around the country July 16-17 in Snowbird, Utah, to hear from Washington, D.C. heavyweights.

Federal leaders stress that the $1 million conference — which includes travel, meals and overnight accommodations — is the first National Park Service seminar in 20 years, and that they’d like to schedule the meetings more often.

But the summit meeting, to be held at a private resort, has drawn ire from critics who argue that the price tag is too much, especially given the growing number of parks that can’t afford to maintain their acreage because of a lack of nationwide funding. In Gettysburg, the latest numbers available indicate that the battlefield maintenance backlog has surpassed $13 million. Staffs are also feeling the pinch.

During the past two decades, Gettysburg National Military Park has cut more than a dozen full-time staffers, about 25 part-time employees, and thinned its overall spending plan significantly. Staff cuts have come in the form of park rangers, maintenance workers, and two years ago, a staff preservationist. Many parks, because funding is readily unavailable, rely solely on volunteers.

Gettysburg National Military Park has avoided further cuts by developing non-profit partnerships. For example, the Gettysburg Foundation operates the new $103 million visitor center, alleviating the park of maintenance and management costs that it would otherwise be responsible for covering.


News---Washington D.C. Metropolitian Region's Battlefields Need Conservation

Out of Ammunition, Kim Fernandez, National Parks Conservation Association Newsletter, Spring, 2008.

When privately held land inside a national park draws the eye of a developer, the character of these special places can quickly be lost. And if the Park Service doesn’t receive the funds to purchase the land, the results could be tragic.

You’re tracing the footsteps of the Continental Army across Valley Forge National Historical Park, soaking in the history, picturing what went on there. Your feet stumble on the same bumps and grooves that Washington’s men trod upon during the Revolutionary War. You pause for a moment to drink in the beauty of the Schuylkill River, where hungry soldiers caught American shad swimming upriver in spring. Engrossed in thought, you come to the top of a small hill, look up, and find yourself facing the brick walls and insulated windows of a… conference center. And a hotel. And a massive parking lot.

Ridiculous, right? Think again. Barring a successful lawsuit to stop it, a development just like that will be built on a 78-acre parcel of land at Valley Forge National Historical Park that was sold to developers last year.

“You’ll see this big, huge parking lot from many points in the park,” says Deirdre Gibson, chief of planning and resource management at Valley Forge. “From the land that adjoins it and from the area around the Schuylkill River, you’ll be looking down at it. You’ll see buildings, you’ll see all the lights at night. You’ll look at this and wonder how anyone could have ever supported it.”
It’s precisely the scenario that park rangers and protection groups have worried about for decades, just as funding to acquire private plots or “inholdings” has dried up. Park advocates say more congressional funding of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is crucial to their preservation efforts. The principal source of funding for parkland acquisition, LWCF has seen a significant decline in congressional appropriations since 2002 and is now little more than a trickle. Park preservationists say that boosting funding in the next few years could help save historically critical sections of parks currently threatened by development and help preserve parkland that is vital to wildlife habitat and crucial to its historic character.

“Most people are surprised to learn that there are nearly 2 million acres of land inside the boundaries of national parks that are not federally owned,” says Joy Oakes, senior director of NPCA’s Mid-Atlantic regional office. “Because park boundaries often result from political compromise, they’re seldom sufficient to fully protect the resources at risk, so it’s absolutely critical to protect as much land as possible.”

But all too often, funding falls short. The maps of dozens of parks resemble Swiss cheese because of the number of privately held parcels remaining inside their boundaries. The threat that these parcels might be sold to developers for commercial or residential structures is a very real one. After all, the federal budget is tight, and few altruistic private citizens have the resources to snap up those plots themselves and donate them to the National Park Service.

“It’s a big concern for us,” says Robert K. Sutton, chief historian for the National Park Service. “Unfortunately, it’s something we may have to live with.” Before rising to his current post in 2007, Sutton spent 12 years at Manassas National Battlefield Park, where one of his biggest priorities was keeping obtrusive development from ruining views of the park—no simple task in an area being transformed from a quiet and sleepy town to a suburb of Washington, D.C. Sutton and others in the Park Service are still concerned that potential development around several major Mid-Atlantic parks might start creeping in over the next several years, destroying historic land and altering the feel of the parks themselves.

Even at Antietam National Battlefield—one of the best examples of private-public partnerships working toward preservation—several private homes dot the park’s landscape. “Washington County is very attractive to folks who move up here from metro areas,” says the park’s superintendent, John Howard. “They perceive that they’ll be able to buy more house for the money.”

Although construction is prohibited on most of the land inside and immediately adjacent to Antietam, housing and commercial developments just beyond the park’s view have meant a boom in the numbers of people using its land. As population centers continue to expand and technology allows people to work from home, external pressures on parkland will continue to grow. Howard is also concerned that plans for new high-tension power lines up the East Coast could have an effect on Antietam. For now, the lines are planned to cross near the park, in an area that can be seen from the battlefields; construction is scheduled to begin in 2010.

“This could impact about 35 national historical areas on the East Coast,” says Howard. “We’ve met with the various power companies that are involved and talked to them. But it’s got to cross Antietam Valley somewhere, and 95 percent of that area would impact views at the park.” (The proposed energy corridors are extremely controversial, and NPCA is working to protect park interests as the issue moves forward; see “Forum,” Fall 2007.) Howard is thankful that Antietam is one of the country’s most protected parks in terms of development threats. But other parks in the region aren’t so lucky.

Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park lies in another recently suburbanized area near Washington, D.C. Here, officials are worried that the limited number of protected acres might mean acres of land will be plundered in the name of improvement. “The Chancellorsville battlefield is one of four that make up the park, and only about 10 to 12 percent of that field is actually protected,” says Jim Campi, policy and communications director with the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT). “That’s a result of boundary decisions that were made more than a decade ago—Congress was only willing to put so many acres inside the park. Because of that, there’s an alarming amount of development already standing on historic land in the area. “A good part of the Fredericksburg battlefield is gone,” he says. Almost all of the Union part of the battlefield has been lost.

“This is one of many national military parks that was created under the false assumption that the land would always be farmland and that we only needed to protect earthworks and parts that were monuments. That has definitely turned out not to be the case.” Groups like CWPT have worked to save bits of land—50 acres here, 100 acres there—through private fundraising and private-public partnership grant programs. In Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, CWPT has saved more than 500 acres from development.

“Since 1999, the Trust has saved four times the amount of battlefield land that the National Park Service has [during the same time period],” says Campi. Even with that track record, he says the race is on to snatch up as much land as possible before it’s bulldozed. “If federal and state funds continue to be available, then we think we can protect the most important pieces,” he says. “But even then, it’s a race against time.”

No one is more familiar with that pressure than the staff at Valley Forge, which now waits to learn the outcome of a lawsuit that NPCA filed to stop the planned construction of a conference center, hotel, and museum in one of the park’s largest remaining inholdings. “I have a sick feeling about this project,” says planning and resource management chief Gibson. “It’s unbelievable. [This land tells] an important part of the Valley Forge story; it’s actually part of the encampment. It’s just the wrong place for something like this. We’d always assumed we’d be able to acquire this property. We never dreamed this would happen.”

NPCA’s Oakes says that park advocates have been working to acquire the property for several years, but the limited LWCF funding approved by Congress was earmarked for other projects. “When you visit historic places, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the characters and events of history if you have to ‘imagine away’ all the modern developments,” says Oakes. “If we don’t find a way to protect these lands today, it will only be a matter of time until we realize the magnitude of the mistake.”

Meanwhile, in West Virginia, lovers of Harpers Ferry are hard at work with local landowners and governments to preserve more than 600 acres of battlefield land that are privately owned. It’s been a 20-year effort, says Scot Faulkner, president of the Friends of Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The property in question is being acquired by a company that proposes to build a visitor center and other structures to serve park visitors. “We’ve worked with other local and national groups and local residents to preserve 1,800 acres,” Faulkner says, “and we’ve almost doubled the size of this park, but we still have work to do.” Across the country, there are many examples of public-private partnerships saving land inside and next to national parks. But at the same time, a lack of federal funding in recent years makes the “public” part of the partnership woefully inadequate in most cases.

The most logical place to change that is to ensure that Congress returns to the original purpose of the Land and Water Conservation Fund—guaranteeing that our parks and public lands do what they were created to do. NPCA is now launching a campaign to draw attention to this issue with a report documenting precisely what’s at risk (available at

“Members of Congress and the President must fund the Park Service at the appropriate level,” says Faulkner. “We’ve got to make up for lost time.” In the back of their minds, the staff at Utah’s Zion National Park always feared that someone would step in and develop some of the 3,100 acres of private land within the park; they even developed a land-protection plan to guide them in case that ever happened. But when it did happen, they found there was little they could actually do about it.

According to Superintendent Jock Whitworth, a family purchased four 5-acre tracts of land in 2005, turning one small, dilapidated building into a fairly large house, and advertising the property for use in spiritual retreats. Although crowds haven’t descended on the building, Whitworth says that it and several outbuildings and recreational vehicles parked on the property and the adjacent tract have disrupted “one of the most spectacular views in the country.” There was little the Park Service could do to stop that development, but officials are currently considering the landowner’s offer to sell his two remaining parcels.

“We’re taking steps toward the process, if we can find the money,” says Whitworth, but the larger fear is that other property owners inside the park might see this example and find development more attractive. Whitworth is waiting for a final appraisal of the landowner’s remaining 10 acres and investigating funding. Although he’s optimistic that the Park Service might be able to buy the property, there is one major stumbling block: “At the current time,” he says, “there just isn’t any money.”

Kim Fernandez is a freelance writer living in Bethesda, Maryland.

Thoughts about this article? Comments you'd like to share with the editors? Send an e-mail to, and we'll consider printing your letter in the next issue of National Parks magazine. Include your name, city, and state. Published letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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Photos: Top: Sunrise at Harpers Ferry National Park (NPS)
Bottom: Kirkland Memorial at Fredericksburg National Military Park. (NPS)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Forthcoming---Confederate Mutiny Paved The Way For Farragut at New Orleans In April 1862

Mutiny at Fort Jackson; The Untold Story of the Fall of New Orleans. Michael D. Pierson, University of North Carolina Press,264 pp., 27 illustrations, notes, bibliography, index, Winter 2008-2009.

New Orleans was the largest city--and one of the richest--in the Confederacy, protected in part by Fort Jackson, which was just sixty-five miles down the Mississippi River. On April 27, 1862, Confederate soldiers at Fort Jackson rose up in mutiny against their commanding officers. New Orleans fell to Union forces soon thereafter. Although the Fort Jackson mutiny marked a critical turning point in the Union's campaign to regain control of this vital Confederate financial and industrial center, it has received surprisingly little attention from historians. Michael Pierson examines newly uncovered archival sources to determine why the soldiers rebelled at such a decisive moment.

The mutineers were soldiers primarily recruited from New Orleans's large German and Irish immigrant populations. Pierson shows that the new nation had done nothing to encourage poor white men to feel they had a place of honor in the southern republic. He argues that the mutineers actively sought to help the Union cause. In a major reassessment of the Union administration of New Orleans that followed, Pierson demonstrates that Benjamin "Beast" Butler enjoyed the support of many white Unionists in the city.

Pierson adds an urban working-class element to debates over the effects of white Unionists in Confederate states. With the personal stories of soldiers appearing throughout, Mutiny at Fort Jackson presents the Civil War from a new perspective, revealing the complexities of New Orleans society and the Confederate experience.

About the Author
Michael D. Pierson is associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is author of Free Hearts and Free Homes: Gender and American Antislavery Politics (from the University of North Carolina Press).

"Pierson shows that there is much more to the Fort Jackson mutiny than we have thought, and that it really matters historically. He not only analyzes the episode astutely and provides rich background material, but also tells a good story, replete with drama and even humor. This is a well-written, well-organized, and deeply researched study that has important implications for some of the major issues currently being debated among Civil War historians."
--Stephen V. Ash, author of When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South

"Mutiny at Fort Jackson makes a significant, original contribution to the field of Civil War history. Identifying the home front as crucial to understanding the course of the Civil War and its impact on American society, Pierson expands the burgeoning study of Southern Unionism with a sophisticated analysis of Unionism in New Orleans's ethnically diverse, urban wage economy. This book will interest Civil War enthusiasts as well as students and scholars."-Victoria Bynum, author of The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War

Ghost town - Fort Jackson, LA. This old American military post was located on SH 23, and the west bank of the Mississippi River, 2.5 miles southeast of Triumph, about 70 miles southeast of New Orleans. It was built in 1822-1832, and occupied in 1861 by the Confederate Army. It is a large, star-shaped brick fort with a surrounding moat. It was built to protect New Orleans, but on April 18, 1862, Admiral Farragut and his fleet of 43 boats, battled the fort for over a week. New Orleans fell, the fort surrendered, and his forces occupied them. Since 1961, Fort Jackson has been a National Historic Monument. Closed since Katrina.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Off Topic Editorial--Every War Is A Choice

Every War Is a Choice, David B. Rivkin Jr., and Lee A. Casey, Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2008; Page A15.

Claims that the Iraq War was a reckless "war of choice" – rather than a prudent war of "necessity" – are a standard element of the anti-Bush narrative. The latest critic to make this claim is former White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

But a close look at American history shows that this distinction makes little sense. All wars are wars of choice, because it is almost always possible not to fight. The real question is whether the price of peace outweighs the costs of war.

Although the U.S. has resorted to armed force hundreds of times, it had engaged in only 10 major conflicts before 9/11, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the first Gulf War. In each instance, American leaders chose to go to war because they believed national interests were at stake. However, in only three of these conflicts was the nation's existence even arguably threatened. And, even in each of these instances, options other than war were available.

The Revolutionary War was necessary, but only if the goal was American independence. Otherwise, colonial grievances could have been compromised. In 1776, Admiral Lord Richard Howe arrived in New York Harbor with a British Army and offers of pardon for most patriot leaders. As George Washington reported to Congress, Admiral Howe had "great powers" to negotiate a settlement. Indeed, as late as 1778, the British government offered to meet all colonial demands short of independence. America's leaders, however, chose to fight on instead. By then, independence was the very point.

Likewise, the Civil War was a war of choice. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln chose to confront secession with force. The seceding states had not invaded the north, and the abolition of slavery was not – at this point – a war aim. Lincoln chose to fight because he genuinely believed in the Union's constitutional indivisibility, and that the future of democracy rested on its survival, especially on vindicating the proposition that constitutional government was impossible if part of the country could simply opt-out after losing an election. However, there would still have been a United States if the South had gone, and many serious people thought the South would prevail. Britain's William Gladstone spoke for many when he said, early in the war, that "We may anticipate with certainty the success of the Southern States." Lincoln bet differently.

At the beginning of World War II, when Japan actually attacked Pearl Harbor, the country could nevertheless have chosen not to fight. It was perhaps politically unthinkable, but America would not have ceased to exist if it had abandoned its position as a great power in the Far East. The principal U.S. territory there – the Philippine Islands – was a colonial conquest from Spain; its other interests were economic and, of course, ideological. Was containment possible? Fortunately, Franklin Roosevelt did not explore that possibility.

Similarly, American engagement against Nazi Germany was also a matter of choice. Hitler declared war on the U.S. but had not invaded any U.S. territory. Should Roosevelt have explored a peaceful settlement and then, again, sought to contain an Axis Europe? Was his later demand for "unconditional surrender" necessary, or did it prolong the war? Some Americans – in ways eerily reminiscent of today's efforts to decouple the Iraq war from the war in Afghanistan – argued at the time that the European campaign against Hitler was a distraction from the Pacific war against Japan.

Of course, it would have been morally unacceptable, and not in the national interest, to pursue any of these opportunities for peace – but they did exist. The question then, and now, is not whether war was unavoidable, but whether force is legally and morally justified in light of the circumstances.

In 2003, President Bush chose to confront Saddam Hussein – who indisputably was hostile to the U.S., who had used weapons of mass destruction in the past, and who had given aid to terrorist groups (though not directly to Osama bin Laden). The president may well have acted on faulty intelligence – as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence now claims – but he did not ignore or suppress intelligence proving that Saddam wasn't a threat after all. Rather, he acted on available intelligence and in light of Iraq's past record.

Going to war may have been a choice others wouldn't have made. But it was no more a war of choice than any of our other wars.

Messrs. Rivkin and Casey, Washington attorneys, served in the Justice Department under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

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Photo: Shiloh National Military Park

News---Gettysburg Foundation Adds Hospital Farm To GNMP

Spangler Farm: Gettysburg Foundation Buys Historic Property, Erin James, Evening Sun, June 1, 2008

The Gettysburg Foundation recently purchased Spangler Farm with the goal of one day opening the buildings and property for public tours after research and renovation is complete. The barn shown is one of three buildings used as the Union 11th Corps Hospital after the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863.

Like brothers who share an incomprehensible secret, three buildings huddle together today as they have since the summer of 1863. The farmhouse, barn and summer kitchen are still surrounded by acres of meadow grass, where tents full of dying men would have dominated the land almost 145 years ago. There is no question one of Gettysburg's most famous generals died somewhere on this property - though the exact location where Confederate brigadier Lewis A. Armistead took his last breath remains a matter of dispute.

Some believe Armistead died in a small outbuilding known as the summer kitchen. A plaque on the rundown building states that theory as fact. But historian John Heiser said the exact site of Armistead's death is just one of many unknowns when it comes to the George Spangler Farm - the Union 11th Corps Hospital where about 1,400 Union soldiers and some Confederates were treated during and after the Battle of Gettysburg. "In a nutshell, we don't really know a whole heck of a lot about the farm itself," Heiser said. There are many reasons for the lack of information about one of Gettysburg's most significant field hospitals, not the least of which is the fact that it has remained under private ownership since the battle 145 years ago.

But with the recent sale of the 80-acre farm to the nonprofit Gettysburg Foundation, things are bound to change. Like hundreds of privately owned acres on the battlefield, the Spangler Farm has always been recognized as a significant part of the Gettysburg story, Heiser said. For now, the farm remains largely undiscovered but almost entirely intact. Foundation officials say the property's purchase for about $1.9 million protects it from development. The ultimate goal is to make the historic farm available to the public for education purposes.

But that's at least a year down the road, said spokeswoman Dru Neil. In the meantime, researchers will be in the information-gathering stage and working to evaluate the property's historical significance and potential safety issues when it opens to the public. When that research gets under way, historians will finally have a chance to answer questions that have been looming for almost 145 years. "We can tell the story of Gettysburg beyond the battle," Heiser said. Little more than four walls remain of the summer kitchen where some believe Gen. Armistead died. The outbuilding's interior is dirty. Rusty nails poke out from the ceiling above. Broken floorboards surround a hole in one corner of the floor. "That looks historic at first glance," Neil says as she points to what was probably once a fireplace. "But you can't tell for sure."

From the inside, sunlight peeks through the spaces where wooden panels are rotting away from more than 150 years of wear. Stacks of hay still occupy parts of the barn, though there's no telling how long they've been there. That goes for most of the three structures and the parts that construct them, Neil said. "Those are old," she says as she taps her foot on the barn's floorboards. "Are they pre-battle? We don't know."

The story of the Spangler Farm field hospital and the details of what happened there are largely unknown, though the property's significance has never been doubted. In addition to serving as a field hospital, the Spangler farm was located at the logistical center of the Union battle line and was used as an artillery and ammunition support facility. It is bounded by Granite School House Road and Blacksmith Shop Road, two roadways used by troops to transport supplies during the battle. The interior lines marked by the farm's location were instrumental in helping the Union Army hold the high ground on July 2 and achieve victory July 3.

It was used as a Union field hospital on the days during and after the battle. It also saw service as the "overflow" site, where many wounded Confederate soldiers were taken for treatment - including Armistead, who died July 5 after being wounded during Pickett's Charge, Heiser said. One soldier wrote of the Spangler Farm hospital that, "All the hospital tents have been put up and are filled, the barn is also crowded and hundreds of shelter tents (are) occupied yet the wounded are so numerous that some have yet to lie out in the open air ... ." The farm is located practically in the backyard of the Gettysburg National Military Park's new visitor center, but historians such as Heiser have had limited access to the property over the years.

"Because it was in private hands ... very little research actually went into specifics about the farm itself," he said. "There's very, very little documentation or evidence related to the buildings as they were." That's why the jury is still out on parts of the story as significant as where Armistead died, Heiser said. Just because a plaque identifies the summer kitchen as the place where the general died doesn't make it true, he said. "My question is, what is that based on?" Heiser said.

Still, Heiser said historians realize the opportunity they now have to study one of the battle's busiest field hospitals. The Spangler Farm is one of the few field hospitals left intact as it was during the summer of 1863. Modern development has encroached on many of the other hospital sites, Heiser said. The National Park Service designated the Spangler Farm as a high-priority land-acquisition need in the 1990s. That's the main reason the Gettysburg Foundation - which partners with the park on such projects - pursued the sale, Neil said.

"Without the park, the priority wouldn't have existed," she said. Despite the Spangler farm's deteriorating condition, it has maintained an appearance and integrity nearly identical to the days it was used as a field hospital, he said.
"This is a chance to preserve a field hospital basically in its entirety," Heiser said.

On a whim after lunch, a handful of Gettysburg Foundation officials stopped at the Spangler Farm for the first time to see the organization's most recently purchased historical property. "We all kind of just stood here for a second," Neil said last week while she stood in the summer kitchen. It was her second visit to the property and the first time she was showing the farm to members of the media. For now, the Spangler Farm remains closed to the public - except for on an occasional by-request basis. But that's a temporary status.

"The ultimate goal is to get people here," Neil said. The earliest Neil could foresee the Spangler Farm being ready for public tours would be a year from now, but she added it will likely be longer. Until then, the plan is to work with historians and to assess the property's architectural stability. "We need to look at what's existing from the time of the battle," Neil said. "We want to protect what's here first and foremost." Archaeological surveys could be an important part of that study, Heiser said.

Because so little research has been conducted at the property, there's no telling what could be found there, he said. "It's amazing what can be told out of the profile of soil, just a few inches down," Heiser said. "I think the majority of it is literally untouched." Heiser called the farm an "archaeologist's dream" but cautioned that there's no way to know whether private owners had ever hired people to excavate the property before. "We don't know the recent history of the farm," he said.

Heiser said historians will use documents like tax records and newspaper articles to piece together as much of the story as possible. Neil said Foundation officials are not even sure whether the property was being used by its previous owners as recently as this year. "I think they lived in it until quite recently," she said. But the Foundation is committed to answering so many lingering questions about the farm and restoring the property, she said. They've already scheduled a volunteer clean-up day with another organization, Tourism Cares, in April of 2009. As word gets out that the Spangler Farm has come into new ownership, Heiser said he expects Gettysburg enthusiasts to be lining up for a chance to walk on the historical property. "They'll be here to see it," he said.

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Photo: Top---Evening Sun Photo by Meghan Gauriloff
Middle (Kitchen) and Bottom (House) ---

CWL--Contested Historical Landscape: Gallagher on The Civil War in Contemporary Films and Art

"Introduction" in Causes Won, Lost and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know About the Civil War, Gary Gallagher, University of North Carolina Press, 2008, pp. 1-16.

Interpretative traditions created by the war's participants have appeared in popular culture since the 1960 Civil War centennial. The Lost Cause Tradition describes the Civil War as a nation-building experiment by the South as a patriotic and admirable struggle against a monolithic North and not as a slave-holders' rebellion. The importance of slavery in the secession movement is minimized and the importance of the original intent of the Constitution is elevated.

The Union Cause Tradition frames the war as an effort to maintain a democratic republic in the face of the slaveholders' treason that threatened the Founders' republic and the future of democracy in a world that was still ruled by kings and queens. The Emancipation Cause Tradition views the war as primarily as struggle to liberate 4 million slaves/unpaid workers and remove the negative influences of those invested in slavery, such as the slaveholders and to a degree 'doughface' Northern Democrats.

The Reconciliation Cause Tradition, best represented by the 1993 film 'Gettysburg', extols American virtues that both sides held and manifested during the war. This view exalts the restored nation and dismisses the role of African-Americans during and after the war. Elements of these traditions are held in common. The Union and Emancipation Traditions despise the Confederacy. The Reconciliation and Lost Cause Traditions believe the Confederacy was a valid expression of American democratic republicanism.

Gallagher's book focuses upon the expressions of these four traditions since 1985. He views the post-Centennial era of 1965 to 1985 as lacking in expressions of the Civil War in popular culture. The resurgence of popular expressions of the Civil War stems from several conditions. The chronological distance from the Viet Nam War, the elevation of patriotism during the Reagan presidency, the promotion of the 125th/1988 anniversary of the war, and the surprise of 12,000 reenactors performing for an audience of 140,000 spectators at Gettysburg each advanced Civil War themes into popular culture. Galvanizing incidents include the Disney Corporation's commercial assault on the Manassas National Military Park and the commercial success of James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom; both occurred in 1988.

Coverage of these last three events in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today, as well as U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, suggested that 1988 was emotionally charged for history buffs. Media programming which both cultivated the existing market and expanded public interest in the American Civil War was the 1990 PBS series The Civil War that was created by Ken Burns. Eleven one-hour segments with 40 million viewers jolted both the imagination and wallets of Civil War buffs and those unaware of the war. The companion book massively promoted; Civil War sites of the National Park Service saw more visitors.

Shelby Foote's The Civil War: A Narrative and Michael Shaara's Killer Angels became a bestsellers though were written during the decades of 195os, 1960s and 1970s. Before Ken Burn's series was aired, Shelby Foote's trilogy sold about 15,000 in 15 years; in six months after the conclusion of Ken Burn's series 100,000 copies of Foote's trilogy was sold. The dormant Confederate battle flag, frequently part of state flags and high school halftime programs, became offensive in the eyes of many in the 1990s. The release in 1989 of the film Glory brought the valor of African-Americans soldiers into popular culture.

In Causes Won, Lost and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know About the Civil War, Gallagher examines 14 films which have Civil War themes and were made between 1989 and 2006. " . . . films undeniably teach Americans about the past---to a lamentable degree in the minds of many academic historians," states Gallagher. Additionally, Gallagher reviews 2,750 commercial advertisements from 1962 through 2006 in Civil War themed magazines.

Gallagher found two key themes in commercial films and advertisements. Hollywood is increasingly shunning The Lost Cause Tradition and the Emancipation Tradition is becoming more influential. Conversely, in the Civil War art marketplace The Lost Cause Tradition is predominant. A second key theme is the weak presence of The Union Tradition in movies and art. Disappearance of The Union Cause is indicative of the loss of nationalism as a motivating force in American culture.

News---Gettysburg NMP May Add Train Station To Holdings Downtown

Gettysburg Train Station Promised To Park Service, Erin James, Evening Sun, June 10, 2009.

Gettysburg Borough officials intend to sell the Lincoln Train Station to the National Park Service, and they've set the minimum price for the historic structure at $722,000. The sale is not yet final, but action taken by the Gettysburg Borough Council essentially excludes any other parties from negotiating a purchase of the property at 35 Carlisle St. At Monday's council meeting, a 7-2 vote authorized President Dick Peterson to sign and deliver a letter of intent to the Park Service. The letter includes the minimum price, which borough finance director Mona Overton determined to be the borough's share of rehabilitating the deteriorating structure since it was given to the borough 10 years ago.

That's the figure needed "to make the borough whole," Councilman Ted Streeter said. Officials say the letter is the first step in a process they hope will end with the Park Service owning, maintaining and preserving the train station as a museum open to the public. Several things must happen before a sale of the train station - where President Lincoln arrived in town to make the Gettysburg Address - can be finalized.

For one, an appraisal for fair market value has to be conducted on the property. That's the figure for which Gettysburg National Military Park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon has said the Park Service would ultimately purchase the station. And because the Park Service is a branch of the federal government, Congress would first have to designate the train station as within the park's boundaries - something that could take an unknown amount of time. The borough's involvement with the train station goes back a decade, when the children of the late George Olinger, a Gettysburg businessman, donated the building for no compensation, but on the condition that it be restored and reopened as a museum. The 1859 station underwent a $3 million restoration project and reopened to the public in July 2007.

But financial struggles within the borough convinced some officials that the local government may not be the best long-term steward of the property. In December, council members announced they were considering the sale of the train station to the National Park Service but that they would entertain proposals from other parties. Little, if any, discussion about the potential sale was conducted until the council's May 12 meeting. Then on May 14, some borough officials meet with park representatives to review the letter of intent the council approved on Monday. That vote was not unanimous, however.

Two council members - and at least one resident who spoke on Monday - took issue with the elimination of other potential buyers and what they said was a lack of communication among council members about negotiations with the Park Service. Councilwoman Alice Estrada, who has an office in the train station, said Monday that she's not confident park officials will be successful in drawing tourists to the attraction - something she said is hardly happening now. "I'm in there, and it's quiet," she said. "How will it be different when the Park Service has it?"

Gettysburg resident Stan Clark said he opposed the selling of the train station to the Park Service without an opportunity for more public comment on the matter. He questioned how the sale of the building - which was restored using significant grant money - would affect the borough's potential for securing grants in the future. But Streeter and Peterson insisted the sale of the station to the Park Service was the best course of action. "I can't think of anybody better," Peterson said. "They would take care of it. They will bring buses to the downtown area."

The borough, Streeter said, "doesn't belong in the real-estate business" and no other entities have expressed serious interest in buying the station since the borough announced in December its intention to sell the property. Streeter said he is confident the Park Service will find the money to maintain the building and continue to operate it as a public attraction. "When they do something, they do it right," he said.

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Contact: Contact Erin James at

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Research----Worth a Dozen Men: Women, Nursing and Medical Care During the American Civil War; Dissertation In Search of a Publisher

Worth a Dozen Men: Women, Nursing and Medical Care During the American Civil War, Libra Rose Hilde, Harvard University, 2003.

CWL--- I am probably one of a small group who periodically search Dissertation Abstracts to find new scholarship on the Civil War. Also, I am one of a even smaller group who actually borrow dissertations through inter-library loan and read a few chapters of a dissertation just for fun; dissertations are not indexed, so I read chapters. Well, what can I say? I am like that. And yes, I do read the 30+ page bibliographies.

Jane E. Schultz's, Women at the Front: Hospital Workers In Civil War America (2004) looks broadly at women, such as laundresses, cooks, matrons and nurses in soldiers' hospitals during the war. Libra Rose Hilde's dissertation, Worth A Dozen Men, focuses on nursing during wartime. The nursing profession, its ideals and it practical applications provide the focus of the first 130 pages of the dissertation. The social changes which the profession of nursing passed through are presented in the next 400+ pages. The movement of females into the nursing profession, the conflicts male doctors and female nurses, and the emotional support of female nurses for male patients are thoroughly presented.

Hilde's tenth chapter stands as a nice complement to Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering (2008). 'Far From Home and Mother: Death in Civil War Hospitals' begins with Ada Babcock's diary entry. "There was another death . . . he was very much frightened, & I am told wept nearly all day yesterday. I am so sorry I did not know it, I would have gone to him & tryed [sic] to ease his last moments." Also, Chapter 7, Women's work in Civil War Hospitals, stands well by itself. "The traditional female roles shaped middle and upper class women's official duties in the South. Expectations regarding motherhood, domestic nursing, and female sympathy and piety determined a typical suite of unofficial duties that women . . . from ward nurses to chief matrons, added to their daily routine." (p. 315)

"Middle and upper class Southern women frequently lacked experience with the more basic labor involved in their positions. Suddenly place in charge of a kitchen and feeding hundreds of men, Phoebe Pember quickly adapted despite unfamiliarity handling certain types of food. "For the first time I cup up with averted eyes a raw bird . . . .' " (p. 323) The chapters I read frequently use anecdotes similar to Pembers' to illustrate the the point being made.

A small or large publisher, looking for a an item in the Civil War field, would do well to examine Hilde's dissertation for a book length or booklet length publication.

Photo: Nurses and Officers of the U.S. Christian Commission at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Library of Congress